Monday, February 7, 2011

Open Source and Free Source

Harnessing Open Technologies to Promote Open Educational Knowledge Sharing
Developing web based portfolios to show how teaching practice and student learning can be documented with multimedia and share it for others to learn from.  The article goes on to explain all the reasons that it is prudent to keep an online, web based portfolio, how it would help not only the creator of the portfolio grow, but all those that read/get involved with it in some way. 
Honestly, I felt like I was reading an infomercial the entire article.  I understand that sometimes a company needs to promote their topic, but the extent to which this article seemed to be pushing a particular portfolio program rather than portfolios as a whole was very distracting and had me second guessing the entire article since I felt they were trying to talk me into buying something rather than a concept.

Open Source/Open  Course Learning: Lessons for Educators from Free and Open Source Software
Much like a tidbit that I read for this week, the beginning of the article focuses on how “free” mean free speech, not free beer.  It lays out the four types of free it refers to, which are freedoms that open and free source software embraces, which are freedom to run the program, free to adapt the program, free to give copies to others, and free to improve and release your new program modifications.  It doesn’t mean that it won’t cost any money to get initial access to the software.  “Zero price does not mean zero adoption costs”. 
Like my parents told me and I told my children many times, anything that is completely free is probably something you don’t want.  If it comes down to something I may not have had to pay for, that doesn’t mean it was free to everyone involved.  Someone, somewhere, paid for that software to be developed and distributed.  To get technical, I paid for access to it because I pay for internet access, I paid to learn to use it, and maybe I will buy something from one of the ads on the page.

Quote of the week from Open Source/Open  Course Learning: Lessons for Educators from Free and Open Source Software
“Eventually [open source communities] will transform education, no matter how modest their beginnings.”

1 comment:

  1. Recently, I have been working on my graduation portfolio containing information of what I have learned and what projects I have done in the IST program and my resume. I have made online portfolio and it is very convenient to get feedback from my advisor because he can easily access to my portfolio and make comments and give me the feedback through email without face-to-face meeting. It seems much easier to share the information rather than printed version of portfolio. If I made a paper portfolio, I have to set a meeting every time I have a question or ask advice and it would be much harder than communicating through email by letting the advisor see my portfolio on the web.